By LARRY VAUGHT
Question: How do you feel about the overall staff new Kentucky coach Mark Stoops is putting together from a coaching and recruiting standpoint?
Derek Abney: “I’ve spoken to a coach who says this is a talented and young (equal) hungry) staff. And I couldn’t agree more. I think the second and third hires (after the defensive coordinator) was the receiver coach and cornerback coach who are known as much for their recruiting as their X’s and O’s. Two things that stick out so far are the financial commitment of the athletics director — announcement soon of upgraded facilities — and in addition to a conventional strength coach, another staff member directly responsible for diet and strength/conditioning. Those are two vital pieces to a BCS program, in my opinion.”
Andy Murray: “I think the recruiting trail is not going to have as many rocks and pot holes as it has had in the past. We all know players make plays and any coach will tell you that they will take talent any day of the week over most. I cannot wait to see what this team looks like in two years.”
Freddie Maggard: “What is obvious from first pass is the staff is young and proven recruiters as well as coaches. But, geographical recruiting diversity only can boost in that effort. I see coaching with experience in Alabama, Florida, Texas, and what really is hopeful, strong junior college past recruiting success. That may be critical in the early development phase.”
Jason Todd: “I think the most exciting part is the recruiting potential. I know coaches may have philosophy differences, but I feel the most important part is getting the right players for the system you want to be able to run. The ability to get the players they need is what will determine how successful we will be in the coming years.”
David Hopewell: “Like I’d said before, I just wanted a staff put in place that really believes they can take us to the SEC Championship game on the 1st Saturday in December each year. It looks like that is what’s happening. Now it’s time to go to work and get it done.
“This coaching staff is still just one element of the equation though. The administration still has to put in place being able to get the other improvements to bring it all together. It’s not just an all-star coaching staff. The administration having the political influence with the legislature to get bonding for things will be a major factor. UK will certainly be able to pay back any bonds they get with a winning football program so that shouldn’t be a concern. I just never dreamed state politics would play into something like this for your land grant university. So if your readers could call their legislators for support and even call the Governor’s office for support that just might be of help.”